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New polling data shows widespread bipartisan support for federal funding of contraception, sexual health info

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 1, 2017 at 2:30 PM

The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released a new poll recently that shows three-quarters of adults, including 66 percent of Republicans and 84 percent of Democrats, support Title X, the federal program that provides free or low-cost birth control to those making $30,000 a year or less. 

The poll also shows that 85 percent of adults, including 75 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of Democrats, support current federal efforts to prevent teen pregnancy through the evidence-based Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and the Personal Responsibility Education Program. 

“Since federal investments have been made in TPPP and PREP, teen birth rates have plummeted,” said Ginny Ehrlich, CEO of the National Campaign. “Programs supported by these funds make a difference in the communities most impacted by teen and unplanned pregnancy.  That is why it is vital that this funding continue to support state, tribal, and community efforts to offer high quality, evidence-based programs to some of the most vulnerable young people and communities in our nation.  Our poll clearly shows that the vast majority of the American public – both Republicans and Democrats – believe that we need to continue funding these programs and continue our progress to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancies.”

Specifically, the survey showed:

• 79 percent of adults, including 73 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats, believe teens should receive more information about abstinence, birth control and sexually transmitted infection protection rather than either/or.

• 66 percent of adults, including 57 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of Democrats, believe publicly funded programs designed to prevent teen pregnancy should focus on providing teens with information on abstinence and birth control rather than either/or.

• 54 percent of adults, including 49 percent of Republicans and 60 percent of Democrats, believe that more should be done in their community to prevent teen pregnancy.

“Previous research shows that birth control enjoys broad bipartisan support and that it is used by almost all sexually active women at some point in their lives,” Ehrlich said. “The demand for publicly funded contraception and related preventative health services is far greater than the supply. This is why Title X and the services that it provides to low-income women is so critically important.”

Recent research conducted by the National Campaign shows that nearly 20 million American women live in contraceptive deserts – defined by their lack of reasonable access to public health care sites offering the full range of contraceptive methods.  This is despite the fact that 81 percent of adults, including 70 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats, agree that birth control is a basic part of women’s health care, according to a previous survey commissioned by the National Campaign.

 “Nearly 20 million women are eligible for publicly funded contraception live in contraceptive deserts, and if we reduce federal support for contraception, these deserts will get worse. We must continue to support Title X and provide robust funding for the program,” said Ehrlich. “We urge Congress and the new administration to continue the historically bipartisan support for this program.”

The data presented are drawn from a nationally representative telephone survey conducted for the National Campaign by SSRS, an independent research company.  Telephone interviews with 1,020 respondents 18 and older took place Jan. 6 and Jan. 10. The margin of error for total respondents is plus or minus 3.7 percent at a 95 percent confidence level.

The National Campaign is a private, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that seeks to improve the lives and future prospects of children and families by preventing teen and unplanned pregnancy. Visit thenationalcampaign.org for more information.

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